How to Start a Marketing Calendar for Your Art Business

Artwork Archive | March 8, 2017 (Updated April 12, 2021)

You already post pictures on Instagram and Facebook, update your website, and send a newsletter to your fans. You may even have a blog or YouTube channel. But, if you do all these things sporadically, with no real plan in place, you could be missing out on an opportunity to improve your business.

While posting when you are inspired to do so is a great start in getting your name out there, what if we told you that taking the next step could take your art business to even higher heights?

But what exactly is the next step you ask? A marketing calendar.

It may seem like a simple concept, but a marketing calendar can be an invaluable way to strategize, stay on track, and seize every opportunity — so you can sell more art. If these sound like some benefits you’d be interested in for your art business, then take a look at this simple marketing calendar how-to.

1. Figure Out a System

First things first, you are going to need to create a calendar. A cloud-based calendar, like this one from Google, gives you the flexibility to move things around, add details to your heart’s content, and never worry about losing your to-do’s.

Either make one specifically for marketing purposes or color code your marketing to-do’s so they don’t get buried under other tasks.

2. Look at the Big Picture

If you haven’t already worked with Artwork Archive’s My Schedule feature, make a master list of all the events or art sales opportunities that you need to be spreading the word about in the upcoming year like gallery showings, fairs, or even holiday times. It also might be helpful to include what marketing mediums would be appropriate for each.

Then make a list of repeat marketing items for your art business and how often they need to go out, such as monthly blog posts, invites for each showing, an email newsletter every six to eight weeks, and daily social media posts.

This will get you thinking about the big picture—exactly what marketing materials you need to be concentrating on and when—so nothing accidentally falls by the wayside.

3. Get Detailed

Now it’s time to work your marketing magic and fill in your calendar with everything. Reference the events on your Artwork Archive schedule, then work backward to determine when all of your marketing chores need to be completed.

TIP: Be as specific as possible! For instance, if you plan to send out invitations for your art opening, schedule times to create, print, and mail them — and in enough time for guests to be available.

Next, schedule your art business promotions that are ongoing. Use these guidelines if you aren’t sure how often to post on social media, and always keep in mind the best days and times to reach buyers with your content.

4. Consider a Separate Social Media Calendar

While you should include social media on your art marketing calendar, it might be helpful to create a spreadsheet solely for your social media posts. Especially considering how often you’ll be posting and the amount of detail you have to keep track of.

Try creating a tab for each week of the month. Then, use columns and rows to organize the days of the week, times you want to post, what you’ll say in each post, events you need to promote, what calls-to-action you’re using, or even stats on how many likes you get.

Plus, you can save yourself some time and concentrate on your studio work while you are there by filling out this calendar once a week and doing a quick copy and paste into scheduling tools like Buffer or Facebook.

5. Rearrange if Necessary

If you see holes in your calendar, it might be time to step up your content marketing game. On the other hand, you might realize you’ve clustered too much marketing together, which could be annoying to your fans or take away attention from the event you want to be promoting the most. Or, maybe you need to switch things up with a variety of posts.

Feel free to move things around, but keep in mind those exhibitions or fairs set in stone and how much time you need to get your marketing tasks finished.

Is it worth it?

A marketing calendar will give you a big picture look at your promotions and help you strategize better for your art business. You’ll quickly discover the strengths and weaknesses of your marketing plan, so you can really whip it into shape. After all, the more people see the fantastic things your art business is doing, and the more art buyers will be knocking at your door.

Want more art marketing tips? Try this fresh social media strategy for artists.

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